Rina Sawayama Is Unrecognizable in Dramatic “Bad Friend” Video

By Alissa Arunarsirakul // May 20, 2020

With Japanese roots that run deep, Rina Sawayama first discovered her passion for music as a teenager, but she often prioritized academics as a dedicated student at Cambridge University. Having noticed the cultural differences between races on campus, Sawayama became inspired to craft music that could speak for those who feel ostracized. Shortly after releasing her debut album, SAWAYAMA, the Japanese-British talent is unleashing the cinematic “Bad Friend” video. 

On the “Bad Friend” video, Rina Sawayama reflected,

“The ‘Bad Friend’ video was one of the last videos we shot before [the] UK lockdown with director Ali Kurr (‘STFU!’, ‘XS’). We had so much fun making this, as it was my first time doing stunts and being in prosthetic makeup. The song is about the heartbreak of losing a friendship and realizing that you were the cause of the breakdown. When you hear the song this is not the video you imagine – but that’s exactly what we wanted.” 

As Sawayama blames herself for an ended friendship, “Bad Friend” hears the indie pop darling exploring themes like loss and self hate. The new “Bad Friend” visual is as dramatic as it is haunting. Directed by Ali Kurr, the intriguing video features Sawayama plastered in prosthetic makeup to resemble a gentleman who doesn’t seem to behave well with alcohol in his system. All we’re going to say is: if you’re a horror fanatic, you’ll love how the narrative ends…

“The music video is a reimagining of the themes in ‘Bad Friend;’ of longing, loss, self hate, and ultimately self love. Choosing a slow, film noir style focuses all the attention on performance and acting, which was definitely very daunting but I had so much fun making a video that is so wildly different from my previous videos.”

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